So. What’s The Deal on Twitter?

After my post on Does Blog Design Really Matter? and Improve Your Blog Design Without Spending a Dime, I’ve been asked for advice on a multitude of things.

One of the most commonly asked questions focuses on Twitter and how the popular social networking site can be used to expand your blog.

I’ll start with this. Twitter is a beautiful thing. 140 characters never had a meaning until Twitter chirped along. That little blue bird is recognized by almost everyone with an online presence. But though many of us know of it, and maybe even have an account on it, do we all know how to use it?

Twitter is simple, more simple than Facebook, in my opinion. Simple to use with a simple interface (though there have been some recent changes that may have left a majority of us confused). You can tell the world what you’re doing using 140 characters or less, tweet a picture of your lunch, or tweet a URL to a website you just want to share.

But what about those of us who want to use Twitter as a marketing tool? More specifically, as a way to promote a recent blog post?

Ever since I started my blog in September of 2010, I’ve been utilizing Twitter. And it works. And I know it. One way I’ve tested this theory out is by noting the number of my current views, tweeting a link, and then checking it again seconds later. Yes, seconds later.

If you’re reading this, then you’re most likely a book blogger, like me. Let’s say you just wrote a review for… The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. You can tweet it as “Review: THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins – http://mylinktothereview.com” and get twenty hits. Or, you can tweet it as “The most riveting novel to hit YA. Read more at http://mylinktothereview.com” and get fifty hits. I’m not saying that’s how you should do it. But make your tweet eye-catching and attention-grabbing. You want your followers to see the link and actually click on it, not read it and move on to the next tweet on their massive timeline.

Another example of something I’ve started using to get more hits is in the way I tweet about my In My Mailbox. Instead of “IMM #199 – linkhere.com” I’ve started tweeting it as “Circuses and Chaos linkhere.com”. The word Circus will catch someone’s eye. And of course, they’re going to want to read more than the letters IMM.

But as a book blogger, you’re more than just the words ‘book reviewer’. You’re a human and you want your readers to think of you that way. So in between those tweets pointing to your reviews and interviews, put some life in there. While I have never posted an image of myself online, there are other ways I engage with my followers. I may not have a large following as yet (though its a fairly good size of 1300), I’ve learned ways to get more hits using my tweets.

Tweet about your brother stepping on your toe. Tweet about that little bird that fell from a tree. Tweet about the color of your car and the color of the sky. Talk to people, engage with those you follow and those who follow you. Interacting on Twitter goes a long way – I personally don’t follow any accounts that only post links to their recent posts. So interact. You’ll gain a bigger audience and pick up some friends along the way.

Twitter is powerful if you know how to use it.

Hafsah

Hafsah Faizal is a YA author, designer, and blogger. Her designs have graced the sites of New York Times bestselling authors, bloggers, and more. She resides in Texas, with her family.

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9 Comments

  1. Reply

    Rie Conley

    November 15, 2011

    Great post! I bet most of the book bloggers that utilize twitter can check their blogger stats and twitter will be in the top 3. It's sorta a must if you want a large following.

  2. Reply

    Aylee

    November 15, 2011

    Well, this is helpful. I admit, I'm pretty bad at twitter. I'm just no good at any networking site, really.

  3. Reply

    Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com

    November 15, 2011

    I think Twitter is probably powerful and awesome but I figure I spend so much time blogging. I don't need another thing to check or be addicted to. GREAT post though. You are totally correct.

  4. Reply

    Book Love 101

    November 15, 2011

    Wow! That's an amazing post! I'll definitely keep some of that in mind while tweeting. :)

  5. Reply

    Lauren M

    November 15, 2011

    I always tell myself to think of a more creative way to Tweet…and it never happens. :P I'm just not super creative! But I think I'll make a better effort from now on. Thanks for the tips, Hafsah! :)

  6. Reply

    Zoe Crook

    November 15, 2011

    Brill post! I have Twitter but I only really use it to tweet about my latest post or for extra entries on giveaways. I should use it more often now – thanks!

  7. Reply

    Uomo di Speranza

    November 15, 2011

    I also love Twitter because it stretches a person's creativity to a wondrous degree. And as a blogger, creativity is imperative!

  8. Reply

    Julia :)

    November 16, 2011

    Bahahaha “I may not have a large following (though its a fairly good size of 1300)” Ummm yeah I only have like 200 something followers. :P But yes I used to avoid Twitter like the plague and now I'm addicted. Its definitely useful and not just for blog publicizing! :)

  9. Reply

    A Canadian Girl

    November 16, 2011

    I avoided Twitter for a really long time and while I still feel like I don't tweet a lot, I've found that it really is a good marketing tool. Also, it's nice to connect with bloggers and get to know about them more personally.

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